Rugby League Teaches Tactics For Townsville Business Owners

Business is tough?  Borrow tactics from your favourite football code...

Townsville Business Rules for Tough Environment

Use Sports Wisdom To Dominate Markets...

Sport can be a wonderful teacher, and often games DO reflect our circumstances and rules.  First, let's think what happens when playing football on a nasty, cold, rainy field.  The ball is wet and slippery, hard to hold onto.  The ground is also hard to navigate with boots either slipping or bogging on the sometimes muddy turf.

There is no margin for error in the throwing or timing of a pass to your team, as this will lead to lost possession and a period of tough, draining defense.​

But there is an upside.

Both teams are playing the same conditions.  And it is here that tactical choices determine the winner in most cases.  You CAN still win at sport, and in business in tough conditions.

When playing rugby (of any kind) in challenging weather - what must you do?  And what does that mean to your business tactics?

1.  You must cherish possession of the ball.  Every pass must be secure.  Every hit up and run must be arranged and implemented to both gain ground AND retain possession.​

  • In your​ business the ball becomes your leads, prospects and existing customers.  In a tough business business environment where leads are fewer the value of prospects and existing customers is increased even more.  You cannot make a sale without a customer, just as you cannot score without possession of the ball.  In my experience, over 96% of businesses in Townsville do NOT keep stats on the source, conversion rates, then fist and repeat sale values of their leads, prospects and customers.  Similarly - top rugby league teams DO know their stats.  Every run is tracked, each pass mapped, each hand-off, every kick.   This pays off even more when conditions are tough.

2.  ​You must keep territory position in mind.  Play the game in your oppositions half, where an error from them has most benefit for you.  And a touch of genius or luck from your team rewards you most.  This means tactical kicking, but not predictable kicking.

  • ​Within your business, do you know where you have the advantage?  What products, services, or experiences to which of your target markets are where you can score?  Without this knowledge, businesses with strategy will chase after ANY opportunity with the same level of priority.   You will have heard the saying "Man who chases two rabbits has no dinner".  You must also ensure you choose niches/markets to dominate that have sufficient size to give your business decent returns.

3.  You must make best use of your assets.  Your big men can run hard at the line at angles that allow the conditions to make it harder to stop them.  And in ways that drain the energy of the opposing team.  Your play-makers must avoid becoming exhausted by the conditions, and set up others more than run themselves.  To do this, your team must be ORGANIZED and know what the plays and tactics for this game are.

  • The most glaring hole in most businesses armory is a lack of clarity and precision on WHAT they say to their leads and customers.  The majority have marketing that is so general that you could cross out your name and write your oppositions name on it.  And it would still be correct for them.  When your sales team or marketing material (your hard running players) do not have the strategic advantage of being unique or different or in some clear way a better choice for your prospects - you are not using them for maximum advantage.
  • This flows over into EVERY piece of marketing that you have (or should have) in place.  Every item either adds to or detracts from the power of what you communicate.  And HOW you deliver your message does matter - if it takes you 5 days to deliver a proposal (or quote!) - and you could do it even better in fewer days, you should.  If your website, FB, newsletters, lead magnets, autoresponders or other online assets are old and lame - or delivers the wrong or weak messages - you lose momentum.  

4.  Every advantage must be fully utilized.​  Half-gaps must be hit with full power and enthusiasm.  Extra effort for bursts of speed results in either line breaks or extra exhaustion of the opposition.  Your strong men must refuse to fall, every step counts.  Mental toughness must supplement physical conditioning.

  • ​Being organized means you know that not every marketing activity brings equal results.  Remember the 80/20 rule.  These days it is closer to 95/5.   Your strategic plan will help you identify, measure and then bring maximum force to your best marketing assets.  In military terms there is something called a "force multiplication".  It means that if you send troops in with superior weapons (like night vision in dark environments) - the same troops have a superior impact.   Given everything else being the same, the gladiator with the sharp sword will (on average) beat the one with the blunt sword.  This means giving attention to the QUALITY of forces, not just the QUANTITY.  Smaller but more sophisticated processes can deliver MORE POWER.
  • Send your troops into battle with SHARP, effective messages that are strategically designed to allow them to dominate your chosen markets.  In environments where business is tough - give your team both the best tools possible AND additional training on their use.  When was the last time you arranged sales or persuasion skills training?

​Your business CAN success in tough times.  Business is still there to be won, although you may have to evolve and adapt to become the team whose value overpowers the desperate competition.  First you must choose to accept there is a market for you that is worth dominating.   It is the same as choosing to play to your hardest on a sporting field - you must decide to win.  Or there is little hope of winning.  

That decision - for YOUR business to dominate - is the key strategic lever to you then defining your market, creating the processes and messages that will give you advantage, and then executing in a calm, organized and ruthless​ly focused program.

About the Author Business Coach James Hooper

Townsville based James Hooper: The term "rainmaker" is becoming regularly used in business context as someone whose role is to 'make rain' or 'create growth' in your business. In some senses the term 'business coach' is limiting as it is primarily about optimizing the effectiveness of the owner/operator. Sometimes the leverage is in the business systems rather than in the operator - and focus on that produces the preferred outcomes. Business is a game, a puzzle, a tool to get you what you want in life. Call me for a second opinion (other than yours) on how to make your business give you what you want it to.

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